Understanding Texas DWI Laws

If you have been arrested for a DWI in Texas, it is important to contact a Texas DWI lawyer immediately. This is no time to try and handle things yourself. A DWI can have long-term legal consequences. If you are charged with a crime it can drastically affect your future. Community service, fines, probation or a jail sentence are all real possibilities without the right DWI attorney.

DWI lawyers will provide an initial review of your DWI charge and in most cases, the first appointment is free. DWI lawyers understand Texas DWI laws are more likely to get you a favorable outcome in your DWI case. A DWI attorney can help research your DWI incident, prepare your DWI case and help file any necessary DWI paperwork. If you are convicted of a DWI you could face:

  • Penalties and fines
  • Potential jail time
  • An increase in your insurance cost
  • Driver’s license suspension

For a DWI in Texas, call a DWI lawyer. We may not be able to eliminate all of the expense and inconvenience of the drunk driving arrest, but we can help.

What is a DWI?

Texas DWI laws define a person as legally intoxicated if they do not have the normal use of their mental or physical faculties due to drugs, alcohol or a combination of both substances. Intoxication also can occur if an individual has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.

Penalties for DWI in Texas

  • First offense- An individual can be convicted for a DWI if the state can prove they have lost their physical or mental faculties or their blood alcohol level is greater than 0.08. The first DWI offense is considered a Class B Misdemeanor and carries penalties of up to 180 days in jail and a fine up to $2,000. The proceedings are generally held in the County Court. Community service will be assessed for at least 24 hours but not to exceed 100 hours.

  • Second offense – If an individual is arrested a second time for a DWI, there must be a condition of release ordered by the court. This can include installing a deep lung machine on the car. Additionally, a fine up to $4,000 is required, jail confinement of no less than 72 hours or more than one year of community service. A judge can require the offender to serve at least 80 hours of community service but no more than 200 hours. The offender may also have their license suspended for at least 80 days but less than two years.
  • Third offense – If an individual is convicted of DWI for a third time it is considered a third degree felony. They can be fined up to $10,000 and confined to prison for two to ten years. After conviction and release from prison, a deep lung air device is usually ordered as a condition of bond or release. Community service must also be completed for 160 to 600 hours and their driver’s license is suspended for 180 days to 2 years. The judge may also order a variety of alcohol treatment programs.

Common Questions about DWI arrests

  • Do I need to hire a Texas criminal defense lawyer?

You should hire a Texas defense lawyer as soon as possible. A hearing request must be scheduled within 15 days of your DWI arrest. Failing to schedule the hearing or hire an attorney will waive your rights to fight against a license suspension.

  • What do I do if my license is suspended and I need to get to work?

Most Texas defense lawyers can help get you an Occupational Driver’s License even if your license has been suspended. This type of license will allow you to travel to and from your job.

  • What is the difference between DUI and DWI in the state of Texas?

Not all states use the same terms, but in the state of Texas driving while intoxicated means a person is operating a motorized vehicle while intoxicated by drugs, alcohol or a combination of both. Texas law uses the term DUI or driving under the influence to define an offense for anyone under the age of 21. If anyone under the age of 21 is operating a motor vehicle and an officer detects alcohol, they could be charged with a DUI.